Health Lab Diagnostics files for bankruptcy after settling kickback allegations; 6 North Carolina residents indicted in $10 million Medicaid fraud scheme;

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> Nearly two months after Health Lab Diagnostics Inc. (HDL) paid $48.5 million to settle kickback allegations, the company filed for bankruptcy, according to The Wall Street Journal. HDL revenues fell by 47 percent in the second half of 2014 following a government fraud alert regarding lab payments made to physicians. By 2015, HDL was processing 50 percent fewer blood samples compared to its 2013 numbers. Article

> Six North Carolina residents have been charged with a Medicaid fraud scheme worth more than $10 million, according to the Department of Justice. Court documents indicate that two unindicted co-conspirators worked with the six charged individuals to file false claims for mental health and behavioral health services through various companies including United Rehabilitation Services. The fraud ring paid co-conspirators to file false claims and generated fake support documentation to reflect those claims. Statement

> A Milwaukee neurosurgeon who just finished a six-month prison sentence for a healthcare fraud conviction is back in court as part of whistleblower lawsuit that claims he took kickbacks from device manufacture Spinal Solutions LLC in return for using counterfeit parts in his patients, according to the Journal Sentinel. Cully White allegedly used the products while he was privileged to perform surgery at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's St. Francis Hospital. Both facilities are named in the suit for failing to properly vet surgeons. Sources say damages could exceed $100 million. Article

Health Finance News

> A new survey by the Healthcare Financial Management Association and Humana indicates that, although only 12 percent of hospital payments are part of a value-based plan, finance executives believe that will increase to 50 percent in the next three years. Experts say the survey indicates that many healthcare systems are prepared to make the transition to a value-based payment system. Article

Health Payer News

> Health plans that rely on technology to improve customer engagement, along with management and delivery benefits, gain an edge among health insurance consumers, according to a Health Trends Institute report. Mobile health, including telehealth services, is one particular area where insurers can improve consumer engagement. Article

And finally … Pet/owner dynamics get pretty interesting when you have to call 911 on your cat. Article